Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 458 - Growing Older With Aaron[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:36]
Despite having Kaleb home to visit, Aaron\'s mood remained overall sour until Wednesday when he had to pick up his psychopathic brother from prison. Keeley had taken the day off to come with him as promised.
"We don\'t have to do much," she told him. "We pick him up, take him to drop his things off at his apartment, and buy him lunch. That\'s it."
"I know but it\'s still annoying," Aaron grumbled. "If I had to take a day off I would rather be playing video games with Kaleb."
Keeley patted his hand. "You can do that afterwards. It isn\'t like lunch is going to take the entire day. We\'ll be here a few hours at most."
He sighed, unable to argue with his wife\'s logic. It was better to get this over with. He needed to be civil for just a little while and then he could get back to his life.
Gray was waiting for them behind the guarded gate in front of the prison wearing the same outfit he had been arrested in all those years ago. One of the guards opened it for him and told him not to do anything that would result in him coming back here. He shot the guard a charming smile and nodded before making his way to his family members.
"Keeley! What a pleasure it is to see you again. Time hasn\'t diminished your beauty," he complimented.
She nearly snorted at the suaveness he hadn\'t lost after all these years but managed to hold it back. "Thanks, Gray. You look pretty good too."
He really did. His hair had gone gray so now it had a salt-and-pepper look to it but aside from that he had hardly aged at all. You would think a man who spent twenty-five years in prison would have more deeply set wrinkles.
Gray had a mature, distinguished look to him. He reminded Keeley of some actor that much younger women still swooned over when she was a kid.
Aaron looked a lot better though in her opinion. He had aged like fine wine. His hair was still mostly chocolate brown with random sprinklings of gray and in her eyes he was as handsome as ever.
In their first lives she hadn\'t been able to grow older with him. It had been a novel experience doing so this time.
Keeley hadn\'t changed all that much either. The gray hairs she did have blended in with the rest of the blonde ones and she had more pronounced laugh lines around her mouth and eyes but that was about it.
That was something she loved about growing older with Aaron. He had those same laugh lines because he was genuinely happy. She was willing to bet he hadn\'t had them at that age in his first life because he had been so miserable once she was gone.
"Good to see you," Aaron managed to get out as he held his hand out for his half-brother to shake.
"You too, baby brother. So. Where are we going?" Gray asked smoothly.
"We\'re going to take you to your apartment first and then go out to eat," Keeley pitched in helpfully. "Is there anywhere in particular you would like to go?"
He thought about it a moment. Prison food really hadn\'t been all that great. The options were very limited.
"I could go for some sushi," Gray admitted.
"No problem!" she replied cheerfully.
The walk to the car was pretty awkward. Keeley had no idea what to say to this man she hadn\'t seen in a quarter of a century and Aaron had never exactly been the talkative type around people he didn\'t like. It was up to her to keep the conversation flowing.
"Aaron told me your research got approved by the FDA. Congratulations," Gray said once they were on the road.
"Thanks! It was a long time coming. I had to take breaks a few years at a time when all the kids were born and all. Plus treatments of this magnitude take longer times to test than traditional medications. A lot longer. But hundreds of people have essentially been cured now.
"If there are any problems in the future all they have to do is come back and go through the treatments again. I wish my little brother could have lived long enough to see this day come. I did it all for him, after all."
Keeley was babbling but since Aaron was driving the car in complete silence she felt like she had to. She knew Gray didn\'t want to talk to her; he wanted to talk to his brother. Sending \'say something!\' thought projections at her husband weren\'t working.
"How fascinating. I\'m sure there\'s a lot of technical parts of the process I wouldn\'t understand but could you simplify it for me?" Gray asked out of politeness.
She was grateful he threw her a bone. She could go on about gene therapy all day. It managed to help them get to his old apartment building anyway.
Once they were there and Gray was speaking with the doorman, she yanked her husband towards her and hissed in his ear. "I said I would help you but I can\'t do all the talking! Say something!"
"But I already used up all of my conversational ability with him for the month when I saw him a few weeks ago," Aaron shot back.
They immediately straightened and acted as if nothing was wrong when Gray turned around. He only had a small trash bag filled with the belongings that had been returned to him once he left the prison, such as his wallet and keys.
Aaron, as his only relative, had to hire someone to deep clean the place before he got out. It had been sitting completely empty for more than two decades and a bunch of food had expired. The entire fridge had to be hauled away because of all of the nastiness inside of it.
Why Gray hadn\'t asked for that to be taken care of when he first got arrested, he would never know. Maybe it slipped his mind.
There were insect and dust problems too. The blinds and carpets had to be entirely replaced, as did most of the furniture. Gray said he would pay Aaron back but he told him to forget about it. He did owe him for killing Lacy after all.
Basically the entire penthouse had been redone to make it habitable for human beings again. Aaron tried to keep the color schemes and furniture as similar as possible.
A lot of the clothes had deteriorated over time as well but that was where Aaron drew the line. He didn\'t even like clothes shopping for himself.
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